There are thousands of people searching for an event venue every day. And you run a venue that you know would be perfect for them. But how do you make them realise that? With tons of spaces vying for their attention, it can be tough to make yours stand out.
The answer is in your profile picture! Dannie Brown, Senior Account Manager at Hire Space, explains ‘It's the first thing a client sees when looking at your profile, so you want to keep them engaged.’
With that in mind, we’ve compiled 12 top tips from industry experts and photographers on creating stunning photos of your venue that will get the enquiries rolling in.
1. Professional-standard photos
If you’re selling yourself as a professional venue, you’ll need to look like one. But Hire Space Head of Promotions, Benjamin Edmonds, says, ‘I’ve seen so many photos which look like they were taken on a 20-year-old camera phone. You’ve just got no chance with poor quality images, and in 2020, there really is no excuse!’
In most cases, this will mean hiring a professional photographer, but it doesn’t have to - particularly if you have the equipment to do it yourself. Either way, crisp, clear photographs are a must if you’re going to stand out from the crowd.
2. Context is key
We love artsy photos as much as the next person, but many venues will take close-ups of beautiful features without showing how they fit into a space. This doesn’t get potential clients any closer to understanding how their event might look.
Your clients will be looking for inspiration for how their event can take shape. Your photos should be doing the legwork so their imagination doesn’t have to!
3. Show off your versatility
Event planners will be on the lookout for a venue that can fit with their vision. If you can, show off your space empty as well as full of people, and dress it for different types of events - from private dining to summer parties and meetings.
To get the range of images you need, consider asking your clients if you can use images from their events for your profile, to show the spaces in use. By showing your venue in many different contexts, you’re more likely to be able to give potential clients what they’re looking for, without relying on their imaginations!
4. Specialised snaps
Not all images will work for everything. You’ll need different shots on Instagram from those on your website. And your Hire Space listing is likely to need different ones again.
Benjamin Edmonds advises, ‘Don’t try to get images that are everything to everyone because it very rarely works!’ Instead, opting for specialised shots that have a single purpose will often be more effective.
5. Larger than life
When you’re taking shots, you want to show your space in the most favourable way possible. So, choose an angle that emphasises its size. Most clients will have a size in mind when they’re venue hunting, so it’s important that your images live up to the capacity you’ve listed. Don’t undersell the size of your venue!
6. Inject some character
You’ll need to show potential clients what makes your space unique - why should they choose you rather than that other venue down the street? One Hire Space photographer reveals, ‘I think a lot about the character of the space and try and capture some of that character.’
That doesn’t just mean focusing on decorative features like beams or exposed stone walls. A photographer’s stylistic choices can go a long way when it comes to conveying the character of a venue. Would bold, moody shots best communicate the feeling of your brand, or refreshing, minimalist ones?
7. Back to reality
While we often bang on about how important it is to take favourable photos, it’s important to make sure they’re grounded in reality. The last thing you want is to get loads of site visits booked in but no actual bookings because your venue just doesn’t live up to the images!
Dannie Brown stresses, ‘Just try to really show off the space you have’. That means highlighting your venue’s best bits without straying from what gives it its identity.
8. Dress it up
In one Hire Space photographer's opinion, ‘The biggest mistake venues make is not preparing for the shoot. If a room is going to be promoted for a specific purpose, it needs to be dressed with that purpose in mind.’
This is all about helping clients to picture their event in your space. Not everyone has the vision to see how your space could look when dressed right, so it's your job to make that easy.
9. Clear the space
You’d be surprised how many photographers turn up to a shoot only to find there are people working in the rooms they need to photograph. Not only does this get in the way of the shoot itself, but it often results in a rushed job, making it easy for things to get forgotten.
Rather than taking your chances, it’s best to clear the space well in advance of a photographer arriving. That way, you can make sure the venue is presented how you want it, and there’s no risk of things getting moved or left behind without your knowledge.
10. Take your time
According to a Hire Space photographer, ‘People under-estimate the time needed to take a good, professional shot of a space. It often involves moving furniture around to get the best perspectives and trying different things before getting the shot’.
We get it - there are a million things you need to be doing, and sorting your venue photos is just one of them. But taking time out to get the perfect images of your venue really is a worthwhile investment.
11. Turn the lights up
You might have the most gorgeous space ever seen, but unless it’s lit correctly, it won’t come across well in photos. It’s important that the lighting is well-balanced with no dark corners or over-exposed areas.
If you’re taking daytime shots, make sure that there’s plenty of natural light. Or, if you’re going for evening shots, make sure that your space is lit just as well as you would light an event there.
12. Set a brief
If you’re working with a photographer, don’t just assume they’ll get all the shots that you need. You know your venue better than anyone, so if there’s something specific you want to make it into the photographs, make sure you say so!
Ready to get your venue profile picture-perfect? Our venue account specialists offer free venue profile consultations! If you’d like them to review your profile and give you tips for improvements, just get in touch via the form below.